Jule Patrick BURNS 05/12/2022

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Jule Patrick BURNS

Hearing: 05 December 2022

at Whanganui Prison via Microsoft Teams

Members of the Board:

Sir Ron Young – Chairperson

Dr S Davis

Ms F Pimm

Prof. P Brinded

Counsel:   Mr R Chambers

In Attendance:  [withheld] – Case Manager

Support Persons: [withheld]


  1. Mr Burns, who is 47 years of age, was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder in 2006. His security classification is low/medium, that is because he is liable on release on parole to be deported to South Africa. He had no previous convictions before the murder. The murder involved the strangulation of a sex worker. Mr Burns throughout has denied the offending. He has had a number of appeals challenging his convictions, all of which have confirmed the correctness of his conviction and for those who are concerned about the conviction, reading the Judge’s sentencing notes is a helpful exercise.
  2. When we saw him last in May 2022, we asked that he develop a safety plan. There were concerns about his understanding of his risk and we wanted a reintegration hui to be held so that he could provide his plan to his family.
  3. Today we had the advantage of a brief treatment report, noting that he has developed a safety plan, and we were provided with that today. We think there is further work that could be done on his safety plan before his ultimate release, including recognition of an unhealthy lifestyle, his regular use of sex workers while in a relationship and his emotional regulation and the fact that there was evidence that he could react quickly without thinking and therefore without regulating his emotions.
  4. He has a modest knowledge of the small town he wants to be released to when he returns to South Africa. Further discussion with his family about the town and its facilities would be sensible.
  5. As the psychological report noted, originally Mr Burns had a number of incidents in prison, including aggressive behaviour, but his behaviour over the years has significantly improved. He has had a number of jobs within the prison which he has done to a high standard. Indeed, the psychologist noted an unusual level of support from prison management for his multiple roles.
  6. Because he denies the offending and has no other record of offending, it is difficult to accurately assess risk, but the best assessment seems to be he is at low risk of re‑offending. He now has a release plan to go to South Africa to live with [withheld]. He has a number of family members and friends in that area who will support him with reintegration.  He has a plan for employment, making furniture.
  7. As far as we can ascertain, however, his family think he is innocent and so their capacity to oversee risk is limited, but we are satisfied they would provide good reintegrative opportunities for him. And so, we have decided that he is no longer an undue risk and can be released.
  8. He will be released on 20 March 2023 on the basis that he is only released into the custody of either New Zealand Immigration Authorities or the New Zealand Police. The special conditions therefore will be that condition; to be released into custody of Immigration or New Zealand Police for deportation and the second special condition will be not to return to New Zealand.
  9. The special conditions are:

(1) To be released into the custody of the New Zealand Immigration authorities, or to the New Zealand Police, for deportation from New Zealand.

(2) Not to return to New Zealand.

Sir Ron Young